416 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI Wall Street Journal praised High’s work. From 1910 to 1920, the number of cattle in the county doubled, corn production doubled, and hay yields tripled. The Mobile & Ohio rail line expanded the concept of diversification by promoting tomatoes and strawberries as new crops. The R. W. Reed Company gave away a packaged orchard of 100 trees developed by Mississippi A&M College to encourage further diversification. With these changes in industry and agriculture, the out migration ceased and Lee County increased its population by 13 percent in the 1920s. That does not mean the old system of subsistence farming and a little cotton went away entirely. Witness this letter from Mrs. Rex Goodman in 1917 to the New Albany Gazette: “Editors Gazette: Will you allow me a little space in your paper? I have noticed several articles from our—men farmers but nothing from the women. So, I thought I would send in a few items. I am a farmer’s wife, and enjoy farm life to the fullest extent. Three years ago today, I went to housekeeping, and this past year I decided I would—keep books with myself. Husband gave me a cotton patch, and I received a nice little sum of $49.68 for my cotton. I only had 25 hens and sold $25 worth of eggs and $12.35 worth of chickens. Only had one little cow, with first calf and sold $3 worth of butter. My father gave me a cow when I married. Last fall I sold her for $38. I have two nice heifers that I raised from her. My total amount last year was $133.03. This year I have 40 hens and one-half acres for cotton. I must save up my egg money and get me some early cotton seed. I want to plant just as soon as the ground will permit. I want to try to beat Mr. Boll Weevil. I raised a nice garden last year, and put up lots of nice fruit. I would like to hear from some other farmers’wives. Husband said I made more money than he did last year, and I must hustle and run him a race for 1917.” Help for farmers such as Goodman came from the Extension Service, a federally-funded program based at the land grant college in Starkville with field agents and instructors in each county. The Extension Service, known simply as “Extension,” provided a way to educate farmers about scientific principles in agriculture. It later extended its mission to include improved health and a higher standard of living. World War I brought an increase in funds for Extension to assure adequate agricultural production for the war effort. Laura Wiseman came to Union County as part of the buildup and her work with farm women made an enormous difference. Serving from 1917 until 1924, Wiseman organized poultry clubs and canning clubs. Newspaper ads began to appear as women she trained advertised eggs and “purebred” chickens for sale. One year Wiseman reported traveling 4,206 miles by car, 614 miles by train, and 126 miles in horse drawn wagons to deliver demonstrations. Union County’s male agent, W. C. Mims, started work in 1913, but reported that it took two years for the farmers to be convinced that he was not sent there to swindle them. He, too, had success in educating his target audience about the diversification of their crops. In 1919, the state asked him for a report about his activities with the county’s African American farmers, but he returned it blank with the explanation that African American farmers were not numerous in the county and they attended demonstrations with white farmers. He said that African American farmers came to his office regularly and every shipment of hogs that he had seen contained animals raised by both races. African American society in the northeast has been studied very little because, compared to the rest of Mississippi, the corner has the lowest proportion of African American population. In his study of Union County, Thomas Copeland made the following nuanced assessment of African American and white relationships in this region of Mississippi: “Middle-class whites never experienced a real co-dependence on African Americans; mutual support relationships never developed. Uniquely, rural relationships between white and African American neighbors forced a different concept of whiteness and blackness. In the countryside, where milk cows went dry or Copeland’s study found that race relations in the Northeast Corner did not strictly conform to the stereotypes generated by studies for the rest of the state.